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The next evolution in C-arm technology is here

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | April 30, 2018
Operating Room X-Ray
From the April 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Five years ago, interventional radiologist Dr. Oren Herman would have sent a patient with peripheral vascular disease to the hospital for an overnight stay to undergo lower extremity angiography.

Today, he and his colleagues at ProHealth Care Associates can complete this and a range of other procedures in his office in one day using a mobile C-arm.

“These procedures are just as safe in the outpatient setting and patient satisfaction is even greater when they don’t have to go to a hospital to be treated,” Herman told HealthCare Business News. “I can only imagine what types of procedures and how many more patients we can help on a daily basis as the image quality and equipment continues to improve.”

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At ProHealth, they’re using an OEC Elite CFD from GE Healthcare, the first mobile C-arm with both a 31 centimeter and 21 centimeter CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) flat-panel detector.

The emergence of advanced dosage options, flat-panel technology, increased fields of view and robotic systems have transformed fixed and mobile C-arm solutions, enabling performance of a number of angiographic procedures that were previously not possible.

From left and right heart catheterizations to radioembolization, the list continues to grow with experts calling it the beginning of an evolution that is set to sweep through operating rooms over the next few years.

Mobile angio units embrace flat panels as fixed units get versatile
Along with GE Healthcare, the global fixed and mobile C-arm market is dominated by companies like Siemens Healthineers, Philips, Hologic, Shimadzu, Canon (Toshiba), Ziehm Imaging and OrthoScan. According to market analysis published last year by Research & Markets, the segment is projected to reach a total value of $2.3 billion by 2025.

Of the over 400 hybrid operating systems that Siemens has installed throughout the U.S., about 280 are robotic systems, which provide enhanced ease in C-arm motion and positioning. According to Sudhir Kulkarni, segment director of hybrid OR at Siemens Healthineers, these benefits have made them the most widely used interventional angiography systems in the operating room nationwide.

“The base of the robot sits in the corner, and the robot arm just moves in and out,” Kulkarni told HCB News. “There’s nothing on the ceiling, so it’s completely free to maintain a sterile airflow and mount the lights and booms. The robot just comes in and out very easily. It leaves all the room that you need for anesthesia, which is a challenge with other systems because the C-arm will come in its way.”

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